Tough choice: Williams, Paul or Bogut

Updated: May 24, 2005, 10:10 PM ET
By Chad Ford
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For the second straight year, a rather intense debate is emerging concerning the order at the top of the draft.

Unlike two years ago when LeBron James was the consensus No. 1 pick, this year there is no meeting of the minds.

The three consensus best players in the draft are North Carolina freshman Marvin Williams, Wake Forest point guard Chris Paul and Utah big man Andrew Bogut.

The only thing Williams, Paul and Bogut have in common is upside.

Scouts believe that Williams has the most potential of any player in the draft. He's a 6-foot-9 combo forward with the true ability to play both the three and the four in the pros. He's got a nice outside stroke, can handle the ball well enough to play point forward in the pros, will attack the glass on both ends of the floor and has an impressive work ethic and basketball IQ.

Paul might be the best point guard prospect to enter the draft since Jason Kidd declared in 1994. Paul has unbelievable court vision, maturity and leadership, combined with top-flight speed and athleticism and the ability to knock down a jumper from just about anywhere on the court. He's the best of both point-guard worlds. He's a pass-first point guard who's determined to get his teammates involved, but he'll take over the game offensively if they can't get it going.

Bogut is the most fundamentally sound big man in the draft. He knows how to do everything in the post. He can score with his back to the basket or spin to the baseline and throw a soft jumper over the defense. He's relentless on the boards and has unbelievable hands. Not only is he the best passing big man in college basketball, he'll be in the top five in the NBA once he's drafted. His basketball IQ, toughness and leadership qualities make him one of the safest picks in the draft.

All three have their share of weaknesses, as well.


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Chad Ford | email

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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